Fifteen million learners are likely to have a dead year. You won’t hear this directly from the First lady/ Minister for Education and Sports, but it looks like school is out of session for the year 2020.
After a directive from His Excellency, the President of Uganda that a Cabinet Sub-Committee be constituted to look into the issue of re-opening of Institutions of Learning, a resolve has been made that the time is not yet right to have learners go back to their Institutions of Learning – not even for candidate classes as earlier thought.
In case this resolve is being questioned by skeptics, this Committee had representation from Ministries such as Health, Local Government, ICT and National Guidance, Science, Innovation and Technology. The Committee also consulted with the Technical Team of Scientists that is advising government on its response to this pandemic.
The Ministry of Education and Sports is working on the following steps to ensure that education must go on:
1- Continuity of learning during the closure of Institutions of Learning.
2- Preparedness for re-opening of institutions of learning when it is safe to do so.
3- Ensuring effective teaching and learning upon reopening of the Institutions of Learning.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Education and Sports is working on measures to ensure continuity and consistency of learning during the closure of Institutions of Learning. Home schooling is the safest bet to ensure students don’t fall back on their studies and is primarily driven by parents.
“As a parent, take the effort to find out when the lessons are broadcasting on the radio or TV stations, if you are not available for that one hour, have another responsible older sibling or adult in the home be with the child as they listen to the lessons.” The Minister for Education and Sports, Janet Museveni advised.
The Ministry is making a grandiose commitment to ensure continuity of learning for Primary and Secondary Education Levels, by covering the entire syllabi for all levels. The Ministry is also in advanced stages of developing home-schooling study materials for the entire Primary and Secondary Education levels. “We are also going to provide printed learning materials for all subjects to all learners. In addition to that, all lessons in the printed materials form shall also be broadcast through the radio and TV stations.” Janet Museveni said.
‘As a Ministry, we will continue with the implementation of continuity of learning for Primary and Secondary Education levels through the home-schooling and distance-learning approach of radio and Television,’ she added.
This commitment and level of preparation from the Ministry of Education can only be interpreted as a clear sign of a dead year.
Among other facilities looking like they will be having a dead year are bars, night clubs, lodges, arcades and the large majority that have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.